A visit to my homeland.
Trip Start Jan 24, 2010
28Trip End May 10, 2010
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Where I stayed
Ohhh the morning came soooo early. We had to leave just before the sun was peeping out of the clouds. On a positive note, Teen and I got to swipe a donut from the front desk at the pension while we were walking out the door. So we were Budapest bound and I could not be more excited at this point. We make it to this bus stop and see Teen's friends Sebastian and Chelsea! They were heading to Budapest as well and were on the same bus! It was a pretty awesome coincidence. I napped all the way to Brno, Czech Republic. Watched 'Friends' from there to Bratislava, Slovakia... and Ani Difranco got me to Budapest!… so 7 hours wasn't so bad. :) After some proper map assistance and the help of Sebastian and Chelsea… we were on our way to The Aboriginal (our hostel). It was a brisk little walk through some side streets, past a few museums, and down some rugged cobblestone roads. Buzzed the door and up we went to check out our home for the weekend. It had this really neat courtyard that was pretty run down and home to a little gray stripped cat. Chubba (wrong spelling) was the guy who greeted us at the door of the hostel, he was super friendly and welcoming. I was really pleased to find that 2 dogs were also living at the Aboriginal… a little hyper one (Gizmo) and an adorable calm one (forgot her name). The rooms were pretty cool; ours had 3 bunk beds sleeping 6 girls. The decorations were pretty naturesque and homemade looking, I felt right at home.
We hung out for a while in the hostel and got settled in… got on facebook and searched the web, you know- the essentials. Then we finally decided it was about grub time. We ventured around to find a good place with a reasonable amount of vegetarian options. We found this one classy restaurant where the waiters were overdressed, the live music walks around to your table, and there are a showcase of sweets that tempt you at every moment. The violin man came around to our table and played us a few tunes. He even talked to us for a bit and asked what our nationalities were. When I told him I was half Hungarian he immediately started talking to me in Hungarian… haha I have no idea what he was saying. After hanging out for a while and the nervousness and anticipation was building up in the pit of my stomach, we finally got the bill. Ha so Teen’s wallet got stolen in Paris and I had been loaning her cash. Well she got a credit card in the mail, but apparently after using it that morning in the metro station in Budapest… they shut the card off. Teen had joked around and said she was going to be my "sugar mamma" and pay for everything since she owed me so much money. Funny thing was when she tried to use the card in the restaurant, the card was declined lol. It was all good because I had some cash, but it was quite funny. When we got back to the hostel she got it fixed… I guess they didn’t know she was going to be in Hungary.
Then the plan was to meet up with Theo and his friends at some bar. I was so concerned about getting ready and what to wear that I forgot to write down the directions. Oh dear, sometimes I’m not as organized as I’d like to think I am lol. So as we are attempting to find this place solely relying on a map, we get a text from Theo telling us they went to a different bar named 'Instant'. It was a task figuring out where this place was…. Quite a bit farther, but it was worth the scenic walk. We finally get there and I was pleased by this gutted out apartment that was mystically turned into a bar/club. It had tons of floors and random rooms to hang out in. At lot of the pubs and clubs in Budapest are old apartments that are run down and completely re-done. There was a connecting courtyard in 'Instant' and they covered it with a roof so it was like indoors, but not… the whole vibe was really neat. We met a few of Theo and Lisa’s friends. This British girl, Broanlin (spelled totally wrong) was really hilarious as we went to visit the bar a bit, taking quite a few shots. Theo got us all to try this authentic Hungarian shot. I don’t remember the name of it, but it was surprisingly strong, but mighty tasty. As the night went on the other friends started to trickle out and it was just Teen, Theo, and me at the club. Some really ridiculous shit went down so we peaced out of there. Theo kindly walked us home, as we were quite far and weren’t in the best state to navigate. We made plans with Theo to venture around Budapest and go to some touristy places the next day. Even though Theo has lived there since August he has yet to go to some of the museums haha. So the plan was after Teen and I went to the baths we were to go on adventures with Theo…
We woke up pretty early so we could get a good start on the day and get to the baths. We researched the customs and proper things you are to do and know about going to the baths. Apparently at some of them you need a bathing suit, shower shoes, shower cap, ect… So we attempted to find a cheap bathing suit or flip flops, we had no luck. The bath we went too was the Gellert and on the website it said you can just rent a bathing suit. So we did... Weird, we wore our undies. Okay so let me just say that these bathing suits were one-piece grandmaw style… and they were for short people lol. We looked so ridiculous… the straps just covered my boobs, it was quite hilarious. However, there were naked old ladies everywhere… I was like- why couldn’t we just have gone naked?! Haha oh well. There were two huge baths, one being hotter than the other; this is where most the people hung out. They also had a super cold bath if you got overheated or whatever… and an amazing sauna that had this aromatherapy sent. It was perfect. The recommended time to spend in the baths is 2 hours… so that is what we did. After, they say that you will be tired so maybe take a nap in the cabin or whatever. The cabin is where you change… it has like a massage table thing in it. Guessing, this is where you take your nap. So Teen and I strip down to just our towls, curl up in fetal positions at the opposite ends of the bed-thing and fall asleep. Now keep in mind that it’s super noisy in this place, people can see you from above, it’s cold, we are soaking wet… blah blah. Well we wake up from what we think was just short nap… and it had been two and a half hours!!! Haha apparently we were super tired… the baths really are draining. It was already late evening at this point and getting dark. I felt bad that we had slept though a day of adventures… but it was totally okay because the baths are definitely worth it (you can’t leave Hungary without going to the baths). When we got back to the hostel, we got ready and made it for dinner with Theo, Lisa, and their friends Vivi and Lisa. We ate at this really amazing Thai restaurant. I had really been craving Pad Thai, so it was a satisfying meal no doubt. We started off our night of drinking at a more low-key bar. It reminded me of a big late night café or something because it was a huge space with lots of tables and chairs everywhere. There wasn’t much to the place, but somehow the music and the cool vibes made it pretty enjoyable. It was more of a place where you come to drink and sit down and talk to everyone. It was the perfect watering hole to start up the night. Here is where I indulged in my first experience with tequila Goldddd. Instead of taking it with a lime and salt, you take it with an orange and cinnamon…. Doesn’t that just sound better? It’s now one of my favorite shots. Next we moved on to another bar that was more like in a basement cellar or something, a little more upbeat and crowed with a whole mix of folks. Their absurd decorations of acrobatics and hanging objects pulled the atmosphere together. Next stop was Merlin’s for the 80s dance party… so Theo and I geared up at the bar- taking many tequila gold shots. Sebastian and his girlfriend, Chelsea, met up with us at the bar before we headed to Merlin’s.
So we were off and headed to Merlin’s for what turned into the best night ever. I fell in love with Budapest. I was dressed appropriately for this 80s dance party in my favorite used dress from the best vintage shop in Paris. We all danced so much… and took a lot of shots. Ya know, just to make sure we don’t lose the energy haha. It was pretty fun, Theo and I danced around through the crowd between people and such… ha I’m sure people got annoyed by us. Oh well, I was dancing with no cares in the world and having the best time. Skipping some details, the night started to roll to an end. I previously gave my wallets to Theo to put in his pockets while we were dancing and I thought I lost one of them. But no worries, it was just shoved deep in his pockets with old receipts and loose change. Before we found it in his pocket Teen went to ask the bartender if anyone had found a wallet. Apparently she had the most difficult time explaining this to her because she couldn’t understand the words 'can’t find’… haha when I ran up to Teen and told her that I found my wallet, the lady said ‘why didn’t you just tell me it was lost?!’ hahaha. Oh language barriers. So after Merlin’s we all kind went our separate ways. Theo walked with us most of the time since his apartment was super close to our hostel. Then Teen and I decided we were hungry. We stopped in this little diner place intending to get food. First Teen got hot chocolate and I got an Irish coffee (which of course Irish coffee IS alcoholic)…. It was the best coffee I have ever had. So I ask Teen if I am being too loud (because I thought I was). I said to her “Can you just tell me if I am being loud? Can you just go tap tap tap and tell me to be quiet? I will not be offended in this segment of my life” -haha. Then I saw a shot on the list that was called “Charlotte”… well of course I wanted to get it because that’s close to my hometown! However, this random guy comes up to us and starts talking to us. Then he buys us some random shot that is soooooo strong. Quite disgusting I must say… not what I wanted at that point. So then I keep trying to order the Charlotte shot, but our waiter wouldn't bring it to me- he bring us another shot instead. Apparently this was yet another free shot, it had really pretty colors too haha… thankfully this was a tasty one. At some point someone puts an ashtray on our table, even though we weren’t smoking cigarettes or anything… the place was starting to crowd up and I think someone just wanted to move it. Well then I get this bright idea that I want to play thumb war! Bahhh hahaha so Teen and I start playing, getting pretty into the game… and then, it all happens. I knock the ashtray off the table. It shatters. We are sooooo embarrassed and just wanted to run away. I mean the waiter had just brought us 2 free shots, goodness the point of going to that place was to get food- not drink more lol. So we hurry up and pay, I give the guy a good tip because I felt so bad… and we were out of that place.
Now we were finally headed back to our hostel, which was just around the corner. I later (the next day) find out what I did on my way home…. (thanks for adding this in Teen)
Me: (yelling) I am just SOOOO glad we live in this world!!!
Teen: Yeah... um... the sunrise is really nice...
Me: NO! Like, life just must be soo hard on Mars!!
Teen: Yeah, I guess, all that ice, no atmosphere...
Me: I just want them to know that they can come down here and hang out with us!
Me: THE ALIENS!!!
Teen: ..... come on let's go inside (starts to walk away)
Me: (Wanders into middle of the street) COME DOWN HERE!!!!!!!!!
Teen: (confused, "is she talking to someone in a window or on a roof or something?")
Me: WE WILL ACCEPT YOU!! WE ACCEPT GAYS! WE ACCEPT HOMOSEXUALS! WE ACCEPT BLACK PEOPLE! WE ACCEPT AMERICANS!
Teen: Lindz, I really think we should go inside... (grabs Lindsey's arm and starts to lead her out of the middle of the street)
Me: (under her breath) we accept... europeans...
We finally make it to our hostel door and Teen tells me I have to be very quiet when we go inside (because normal people are asleep)… it was like 7am at this point. When we get inside Teen makes some amazing toast with cinnamon. Apprently some German guy comes in the living room telling us about his snoring roommate and how he can’t sleep… I don’t remember this guy. Anyways we finally walk to our room and Teen sets a glass of water on the floor. 2 seconds later I somehow knock it over. If there is ever a glass of liquid on the floor, it WILL get knocked over by me- no doubt. Jeeze so then I say something loud like “CRAP” or something like that haha… I’m sure I woke some of the girls up. I crawl up to my bunk and pass out… with the toast lying beside me the whole night.
We slept like alllll day Sunday because of the massive hangover…. Not to mention we didn’t go to sleep till reallyyy early in the morning haha. We pretty much just watched chick flicks and tried to recover. We were supposed to hang out with Theo, but since the day didn’t get started until super late… it didn’t happen. He was already across town at Vivi’s getting ready to leave for his ski trip early in the morning. We finally ventured out of the hostel a little after dinner time. We tried to go see Buda Castle, but the public transit was way too confusing. It was like you had to take a metro, then a bunch of different trams… and after the main trams and metros close you have to take a whole different route. Of course because it was like 11:45pm at this point… so we just decided to go back and find some food. I thought we’d never find food because everyone seemed to be not serving food anymore. Then we stumbled upon Stex! Ha this was such a relief to find this place, plus the food was sooooo yummy! The waiter was so nice and very helpful with the menu. After stuffing ourselves to the max, we wandered back home and got some good sleep.
We woke up pretty early so we could get some actual sightseeing in. We had to be out of our rooms by noon, and we didn’t even get moving till then haha. Our bus was leaving at 4:30pm, so we had to get stepping. Lucky us, it was a National Hungarian holiday! It was so neat because almost everywhere they had events, marches, protests, parades, demonstrations, and tons of other things. It was quite a glorious and ‘cultured-filled’ day amongst my natives. After doing a lot of exploring, we rush back to our hostel to grab all our stuff and book it to the metro to catch our bus back to Prague. Well Chubba talks to us foreverrrr, almost forcing us to be late. We end up having him call us a taxi, so we make it just in time. 7 hours later… we were back in Prague. Oh how I miss Budapest…